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Increase App Retention: Why Users Abandon Apps

Every appreneur wants to increase app retention, especially in today’s highly competitive environment. And with more users becoming disenchanted with apps, no appreneur can rest easy. After all, it doesn’t take much for users to abandon apps, even moments after downloading them. Glitches, mandatory logins, and poor UX design can dissuade users from continuing their journey. Below are several things that can make your app unappealing.

1. How Poor UX Design Ruins A Great App

One of the fastest ways to lose users is with poor user experience (UX) design choices. After all, users have access to many slick and responsive apps with excellent UX. Thus, they don’t want to waste their time on any app that doesn’t deliver these expected features.

But let’s take a deeper look at what poor UX design is and how it hurts an app, even if it seems promising. When users launch an app for the first time, they expect a simple onboarding process. A complex and obtuse UX doesn’t facilitate such an outcome and will only hinder users from proceeding. Furthermore, users shouldn’t be exposed to any unnecessary information, as this only confuses them.

Also, UX designers should avoid implementing buttons and icons meant for the desktop on a mobile app. That’s because these aren’t sized correctly or have the correct design language for mobile devices. And a poorly organized user interface (UI) with low-quality images will put off even the most patient users. Ultimately, an effective UX minimizes the amount of data users need to input to proceed. Every appreneur and UX designer should always be thinking about how to increase app retention with great UX.

2. Why Mobile App User Retention Falls With App Glitches

Have you ever used a bug-ridden application that frustrated you so much that you uninstalled it from your device immediately? If that’s a yes, then you’re well aware of how a couple of glitches can completely ruin an app. And glitches only make an app look unprofessional, especially when compared to more polished alternatives.

As an appreneur, your reputation is largely dependent on the quality of your apps. That’s why you should quash as many bugs and glitches before shipping. And when users do discover a glitch, make sure that you respond quickly with updates and fixes. The more you approach development in this manner, the more likely you’ll increase mobile app retention.

3. How Focusing On The User Helps Increase Mobile App Retention

While a mobile app can help you achieve specific business goals, don’t do this at the expense of your users. For example, you may create an app that promotes a new clothing line with its unique augmented reality (AR) component. And your marketing team may want to capitalize on the wow factor of this technology to attract users. Yet only a small percentile of your users care about this when they’re clamoring for instant checkout within your e-commerce app.

Mobile app user retention is all about listening to user feedback and responding to their needs. Moreover, delve deeper into your analytics pipeline and carefully study user data. With a more user-centric approach, you’ll roll out the features and improvements that users want and won’t waste resources on anything unnecessary.

4. Why Users Hate Mandatory Logins

When users launch your app for the first time, they don’t want to see a login screen. Worse still, they don’t want to deal with mandatory or social logins. Users don’t want to feel compelled to use an app by signing in, as they may not commit to its long-term use. Furthermore, they may not wish to share their social data with you or don’t have a social media account.

And even if they have social media accounts, they may not have the same ones that you’re accepting. Since you want to increase app retention, you should always decrease the barriers to entry. Therefore, ensure that logins are optional and not mandatory and rigorously address security concerns.

5. Why Pestering Users Is Never A Good Idea

Today’s users are neither patient nor forgiving. They’ve downloaded a ton of apps and subsequently seen their fair share of ads and notifications. And the situation is so concerning that app fatigue has become a real problem. Users are no longer excited about the latest apps, and many no longer want to download apps.

Thus, if developers want to increase mobile app retention, they should stop pestering users with ads and notifications. Don’t inundate them with anything that wastes their time or uses up bandwidth, or you risk losing these users.

6. Are You Giving Users A Reason To Come Back

Users can quickly become bored with your app and eventually abandon it. Of course, you want to avoid such a scenario by giving users a reason to come back. Depending on your business model, it may be feasible to offer an incentivization or loyalty program. Alternatively, you could implement a robust communication system, making it easy for users to connect with your brand in a meaningful way.

7. Why You Should Always Listen To Feedback

Another good reason to have a robust communication system is that it allows you to receive user feedback constantly. However, you must respond to this feedback immediately and never leave your users in a lurch. And if you can’t roll out updates and fixes within a short amount of time, do notify users that you’ve listened to their feedback and provide them with a roadmap. Ultimately, they need assurance that you’ll provide the necessary support so that they won’t abandon your app.

8. Is Your Mobile App Too Innovative

Users have become accustomed to the UX and workflow set by the most popular apps. Now, you may want your app to stand out by implementing innovative features that competing apps don’t have. However, this isn’t necessarily a good idea because too much innovation can be counter-productive. You risk intimidating and scaring off users with features that seem too unfamiliar. Therefore, if you don’t want to negatively impact mobile app user retention, it’s better to play it safe!

9. Are You Offering Anything New

You should have a long-term strategy to increase mobile app retention. Look at how game developers implement season passes, in-game events, loot boxes, and prizes to keep their games fresh and relevant. By offering something new at regular intervals, users will keep coming back to your app. Furthermore, you’re showing your users that you’re still committed and invested in your app and care about the end-user experience.

But also introduce something new when the latest devices launch. Your app may work great on current smartphones but doesn’t take advantage of the extra screen real estate found on foldable devices. Inevitably, you’ll need to release an updated version of your app with an enhanced UX and additional features to keep the next generation of users satisfied.

The Bottom Line

As we’ve already revealed, there are several ways to increase app retention and keep users glued to your app. Nowadays, users have become increasingly disenchanted with applications because of mistakes that could’ve been avoided. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop brilliant apps the right way.

How To Start Your Own SaaS Business

If you’ve been planning on starting a SaaS business, then there’s never been a better time in embarking on such an endeavor. Many SaaS (Software as a Service) enterprises have emerged in the past decade and have successfully left their mark in the industry.

Established tech giants such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have made available their own SaaS offerings. And users have been reaping the benefits of accessing these cloud-based applications cheaply and easily. Now, we’ll look further into what it takes to start your own Saas enterprise.

1. The Rise Of The SaaS Enterprise

The internet has radically transformed the way we do business and consume. Enterprises can release powerful apps far quicker than before, while users can access these applications almost effortlessly. And digital distribution has played a vital role in making this possible over the past two decades.

But even digital distribution has its fair share of bottlenecks that impedes the accessibility and evolution of software. In many cases, users have to pay a steep upfront cost and download and install files on their computers. And in the case of freemium or mobile apps, users may not have to pay a cent, but they’ll likely have to watch ads or whip out a credit card to access certain functionality.

Nowadays, users don’t have to relegate themselves to any digital distribution platform to access powerful and useful apps. With the rise of the SaaS enterprise, users can try out web-based solutions directly from their browsers.

So, what exactly is a SaaS enterprise? Well, it’s a company that develops an application or a series of applications meant to solve specific problems. These applications are hosted on a cloud service either by a third-party or on the company’s own servers. In the latter case, the company needs to update and maintain its SaaS applications and hardware. But that’s a boon for end-users since they don’t have to worry about updating their apps. And they no longer have to trawl forums or contact support when an update or installation goes wrong.

We’ve seen that this SaaS business model has been gaining traction in recent years. If you’ve used MailChimp, Slack, or Zoom, then you’ve used a SaaS product. But it won’t end there, as we’re bound to see many trailblazing SaaS enterprises emerge in the coming years.

2. Why You Should Consider Starting A SaaS Business

Whether you’re an appreneur or leading an enterprise, you’re likely coming up with cool and unique ideas. A few of these ideas could be solutions to problems that most people encounter in their day-to-day lives or enhance existing business processes. Either way, for these ideas to come to fruition, they’ll need the right vehicle to drive them forward.

One of the best ways to do this is by starting your own SaaS enterprise. And the good news is that it’s entirely possible with a small investment and a bit of sweat equity. Online marketing expert, Neil Patel, managed to launch his SaaS business based on a call-tracking idea for under $ 40,000. With his organized approach to building web-based businesses, Neil found a designer and a developer, built his product, and then focused on marketing and sales.

While we’re not insinuating that building a SaaS is easy, it’s doable with the right approach. Furthermore, you’ll benefit by establishing an enterprise that’s entirely your own without requiring a substantial investment. And, if your SaaS proves popular, it won’t be difficult sourcing venture capital (VC) to grow your enterprise further.

3. Choose The Right Funding Model

If you want to have maximum control of your SaaS enterprise, you should consider personally funding the entire endeavor. But if bootstrapping isn’t possible, then you could borrow money from friends and family. A word of warning, if you haven’t planned and validated your SaaS idea, you’ll be risking these funds on a project that could potentially fail.

However, if you’ve done your homework by conducting a competitive analysis, creating detailed financial forecasts, writing a lean plan, and validating your idea, then your funding options widen. Now, you’ll be in a position to seek funding from financial institutions, angel investors, and venture capitalists. But you’ll be giving up some control, and your business decisions will have to line up with requirements set by these entities.

4. A SaaS Business Starts With Proper Planning

Every serious entrepreneur draws up a business plan from day one. After all, no financial institution or angel investor will lend money to an enterprise without a business plan. And when building a SaaS, it’s essential to get your ideas on paper as quickly as possible.

However, it’s not necessary to draft a long and complex document initially. Start with a one-page pitch that briefly describes your business, unique value proposition, competitors, target market, sales forecast, expenses, milestones, and schedule. You can go into more detail once you’ve solidified your business model and SaaS proposition.

5. Creating A Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Determine whether or not users have an interest in your SaaS. Moreover, validate if these users are willing to pay to use your app. Without releasing a full-fledged product, you’ll never know for sure. But by creating an MVP, you’ll be able to quickly gauge if users are genuinely interested in your offering before building a SaaS.

6. Building A SaaS

Ideally, you’ll have talented developers on your team that will help bring your SaaS ideas to life. While you’ll probably do most of your development in-house, you may need to outsource some work. For a smooth collaborative process, it’s always better to work with experienced developers such as NS804.

Be sure to start small and choose the right software development methodology for your project. Then, get a beta version of your SaaS out the door as quickly as possible, and don’t add any unnecessary features before launch.

7. Employing Good UX Design

It’s just as important to have one or more competent designers on your team. After all, your SaaS shouldn’t only run well, but it must also look great! Users expect good UX design from their apps, and you must meet their expectations if your SaaS is to succeed. Your designers will need to have a solid grasp of the five key elements of UX designs, namely: information architecture, interaction design, usability, prototyping, and visual design.

8. Don’t Ignore Custom Development

While your SaaS enterprise may function amazingly on the cloud, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore custom development. Many users will appreciate accessing an offline version of your SaaS that runs natively on their computers or mobile devices. Furthermore, you can provide users with additional features, extended business functions, and improved security with a custom-developed app.

9. Should A SaaS Business Incorporate Custom Development?

Yes, every SaaS enterprise benefits from incorporating custom development. Many business processes require the speed, stability, and security that only a custom-developed native app can provide. And certain visually intensive apps only run well if they have direct access to a device’s CPU and GPU, which may require a custom solution.

In Conclusion

Every appreneur and enterprise should consider building a SaaS if they want to reach new users. While there’ll always be a market for native applications, many users enjoy the accessibility and convenience of today’s SaaS offerings. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you get your SaaS business off the ground.

What An App Development Company Offers Over A Freelance Developer

Are you thinking of hiring a freelance developer for your upcoming app? While this may seem like a good idea, there are several pitfalls that you need to consider. Moreover, consider the benefits of working with an app development company. We delve deeper into why this may be a better option for your app development endeavors.

1. The Difficulty Of Finding The Right Freelance Developer

With a big project coming up, you’ve decided to trawl the web to find freelance developers. And, you may feel confident that you’ll find the right people due to all the freelance and gig websites available. Sites such as PeoplePerHour, Toptal, and Upwork make it possible for recruiters to hire a plethora of talented individuals. And yes, many of these individuals have impressive portfolios and skill sets that make them seem very promising.

But are these freelance developers the right candidates for your project and enterprise? Well, that largely depends on how seriously you take app development and the stature of your organization. After all, your app represents your company, and a shoddy app can hurt its reputation.

Freelance developers can potentially handle smaller and simpler apps, but seldom can they pull off more ambitious projects. Moreover, many freelancers only work on projects within a set timeframe and then move on to the next gig. If you run into problems with your app, these freelancers may not be available to fix these issues.

Another problem you may encounter is that many freelancers only specialize in popular programming languages and frameworks. If your company uses niche or in-house development tools, these freelancers can’t assist you in any meaningful way. Thus, it’s a massive risk relying on freelancer developers, especially if you’re creating apps on a professional basis. But you can mitigate risk and achieve positive results by working with an experienced app development company.

2. Work With An App Development Company That’s A Good Fit

While you may have eschewed that potentially promising freelance developer to work with a development company, this doesn’t mean that you should rest easy. You may have tracked down a renowned studio that’s made several impressive apps that have done well in the app stores. But this doesn’t mean that this app development company will be a good fit for you!

For example, this renowned studio may specialize in mobile games and have little experience developing enterprise apps. Therefore, if you’re planning on making an enterprise app, it’s better to look for a development company that has actually developed enterprise apps on a long-term basis.

We advise that you practice due diligence before hiring a development company by doing your homework. Start researching companies by visiting Clutch.co, which is a B2B directory of IT businesses and developers. Moreover, read tech blogs and journals to learn more about existing and up-and-coming development companies making waves in the app world.

Create a shortlist of companies you’d like to work with, then gather referrals, request demos, and conduct interviews with all of them. These procedures will give you adequate information about which company will suit you best.

3. Software Development Best Practices Are Important

Work with an app development company that adheres to software development best practices. A competent developer will ensure that your app works flawlessly across devices and doesn’t put user data at risk. Also, they’ll be well-versed in both Android and iOS development and capable of meeting all criteria set by the platform holders.

Keep in mind that apps can be rejected after being submitted to Apple and Google Play if they don’t meet their respective standards. And such a scenario will only increase delays and drive up development costs.

4. Why You’ll Get Better UX Design From An App Development Company

The average freelance developer will only have a limited amount of skills. Most likely, they’ll know several programming languages and frameworks but lack adequate design experience. They may be able to handle some rudimentary UX design work but won’t deliver the kind of design that will make your app truly stand out. Therefore, you’ll also need to hire an experienced UX designer to ensure you’re making a well-rounded quality app.

Now you’ll have to coordinate both your developer and UX designer, meaning that you’re creating more work for yourself. But if you’ve hired an app development company, they’ll handle all development and UX design. Thus, leaving you free to focus on other aspects of your app business. Moreover, a competent developer will deliver cohesive UX design on all target platforms and screen sizes.

5. Tackling Both Android & iOS Development

Ideally, you’ll want to work with someone that can handle both Android and iOS development. It’s not uncommon to find freelance developers that only focus on a single platform. Even if they develop for both platforms, they’ll usually have more experience developing for one over the other. And they may even cut corners by using frameworks that make it easy to target both platforms with a single codebase but lack native-like performance and UX.

An experienced development company, such as NS804, delivers native apps for both Android and iOS. Our know-how, skills, and tools allow us to squeeze out maximum performance from both platforms.

6. Developing Complex Apps

Complex apps require a highly skilled developer to make them come to fruition successfully. Hiring a solo freelancer developer to handle such an endeavor would be a big mistake. Any app with a significant amount of complexity requires a lot of code and content, which is way too much work for a single developer. An app development company will have enough staff on hand to complete a complex app on time.

7. Scaling Your App

Perhaps you’ve hired a freelance developer to create a simple app or minimum viable product (MVP). But you need to scale and turn it into the app you’ve always envisioned. However, your freelancer has moved onto other projects and isn’t available to help you grow our app. And even if they were available, it’s unlikely they can handle projects beyond the scope of a solo developer.

You’ll need to hire several freelance developers or work with a development company to handle such a monumental task. But you’ll have more peace of mind working with the latter since a company can offer further assistance even after you’ve scaled your app.

8. Meeting Goals And Milestones

Never lose sight of your most crucial goals and milestones. When working with freelancers, you can never be sure that they fully comprehend these. And if these freelancers work remotely in different parts of the world, this only complicates matters. But if you work with a development company that operates as a registered business, then you’re dealing with a more accountable entity. Moreover, they’ll help you meet your goals since they’ll want to build an ongoing business partnership with you.

9. Assurance Of Quality And A Smooth Development Process

Ultimately, you want your app to be a testament to the quality that your company can deliver. While it’s possible to achieve adequate results by hiring freelancers, it’s not the smartest choice. You’ll achieve better results and enjoy a smoother development process by working with an app development company. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop outstanding mobile apps that never fail to impress.

Latest Trends In Mobile App Design: Increasing Your Profits

While contemplating the latest trends in mobile app design, we decided to look further into this matter. Specifically, we wanted to explore how various mobile app monetization strategies play out. Should an appreneur implement ads, and if so, what type of ads work best? Or, would it be better to release a paid app or implement in-app purchases instead? These questions, and many more, are questions that we seek to answer below.

1. What Type Of Ads Work Best?

One of the easiest and most effective ways to monetize an app is via advertising. Whether you’re developing a mobile app or game, you should consider implementing ads as part of your monetization strategy. And there’s a good reason to take such an approach. According to Statista, mobile advertising reached $ 190 billion in 2019 and will reach $ 240 billion by 2022.

Nowadays, every apprenuer has several ways to include ads in their applications. We’ll cover the four types of ads that show the most promise:

Banner Ads – Relatively unobtrusive and small-sized ads, placed either at the top or bottom of the screen. They’re easy to implement and remain a popular method for monetizing apps.

Interstitial Ads – These pop up as full-screen ads at specific time frames and feature a close button on the top left or right corner. Interstitial ads work best when they show up only after the user completes a task inside the app.

Native Ads – Designed to naturally fit inside an app and promote an app, product, or service while being relatively unobtrusive. Usually, developers will implement native ads to promote their own products, but this isn’t always the case. The downside is that these ads don’t bring in as much revenue as alternative methods.

Rewarded Video Ads – These shorts video ads (usually a 30-second duration) are carefully integrated with an in-app reward system. Users will watch a video in exchange for points, prizes, and various kinds of virtual goods. Rewarded videos ads deliver high retention and revenue but work best in games or apps with gamification features.

2. How Cost And Profitability Go Hand In Hand?

If you’re an appreneur with a tight budget, then you may cut corners to bring your dream app to fruition. After all, there are several online marketplaces where you can hire freelancers to develop your app at low rates. But this isn’t a good idea, especially when taking into account cost and profitability factors.

Take a look at the highest-rated, popular, and most profitable apps in the App Store and Google Play. What you’ll find is that the top ten percentile of applications are incredibly slick and professionally made. The teams behind these apps have years of experience and comply with best practices in software development. Thus, cheap, low-effort, and unprofessional apps no longer gain traction in digital storefronts. It’s smarter to work with an experienced developer, such as NS804, to create apps that resonate with today’s users.

3. Are In-App Purchases Still Effective?

Yes, in-app purchases offer a robust revenue stream when appropriately implemented in the right type of app. For example, the Uber app offers in-app payments so that drivers can receive payments from passengers. In-app purchases also work great if you’re selling digital goods or have e-commerce functionality in your app. Furthermore, consider adding in-app purchases if you’re offering renewing and non-renewing subscriptions.

4. Should You Sell Physical Products?

Well, that largely depends on the ability of your app and brand to stand out amongst competitors. Fortunately, the latest trends in mobile app design make it easy to test the waters. You can reduce the risk by using Amazon’s self-service program to sell branded goods instead of having to order large quantities from a traditional manufacturer.

If you’re building a mobile e-commerce portal meant to sell physical goods, then you’ll need a robust order fulfillment system to have products delivered to customers successfully. And, if you’re creating a mobile game that draws a fervent fanbase, then it makes sense to sell merchandise, such as caps, t-shirts, figurines, mugs, and posters within the game. But do keep in mind that revenue from merchandise may be inconsistent.

5. Are You Giving Users A Reason To Return?

When developing apps, you’ll undoubtedly think about cost and profitability. You’re investing resources into a project meant to cover its input costs and make a tidy profit.

However, that’s only possible if your app has high user retention and engagement. And to achieve this, you’ll need to give your users a reasonable amount of control. Users have no qualms about uninstalling apps that take control away from them. As with our own experiences, it’s never a good idea to force users to watch unskippable tutorials or input payment information without giving them the option to do so later.

That’s why it’s vital to employ the latest trends in mobile app design. Reduce the steps required to make things happen and allow users to make their own choices. Ultimately, this leads to more satisfied users that feel confident in using your app on an ongoing basis.

6. How Can App Updates Increase Profits?

Users expect regular updates that introduce new features and increase app stability. They want to see that you’re adding the functionality they want and that you’re offering long-term support. If you’re invested in your app, then users feel more confident in continuously using it. And the more time users spend with your app, the greater your profits. Moreover, users are more likely to recommend your app to others if you’re meeting their expectations.

7. Are Subscriptions Better Than Flat-Fee Apps?

Not necessarily. Subscriptions only work well with cloud services and music and video content providers. And the games industry is currently experimenting with subscriptions, but with limited success. App developers planning on using this revenue model will need to continuously innovate so that users keep paying their subscription fees. However, a carefully orchestrated subscription service can become a reliable and growing income source.

8. Will Improving The UX Help?

Yes, and it should be on the to-do list of every appreneur. Users expect a highly responsive UX that’s simplified. Don’t bog them down with a disorganized layout, endless options, and unnecessary complexity. Moreover, implement AI that enhances your app’s personalization component, which will inevitably increase user retention.

9. What Makes Users Want To Pay To Use An App?

Most users won’t pay for apps, but the few that do have high expectations. If you’re planning on releasing a paid app, then ensure that it’s high quality with a full feature set. Utilize the latest trends in mobile app design to make your application more usable and visually appealing. Then, rigorously profile and test your app so that it works flawlessly on a wide variety of mobile devices.

In Conclusion

When taking cost and profitability factors into account, it’s worth considering the various revenue models available to app developers. They can choose to monetize their free applications with ads, in-app purchases, subscriptions, and even physical products. Alternatively, they can eschew all these methods and release a paid app providing its high quality. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop amazing apps that increase your profits.

9 Things You’ll Only Get With Custom App Development

Custom app development seems challenging, but it’s the best way to create amazing applications. While templates promise an easy and quick turnaround for mobile app developers, these seldom deliver optimal results. Businesses and professional developers don’t want to release apps that look and feel second-rate. Instead, they prefer to release apps that improve their reputation and enhance user engagement. We provide several reasons why you should custom develop your next app below.

1. Completely Custom Look Unlike Any Free Templates

When developing an app, it’s often a good idea to consider the options available to you. Do you build it entirely from scratch by taking the custom app development road? Or do you use free templates that will radically reduce initial cost and time factors? The latter may seem more enticing, but it’s not the wisest choice if you want your app to stand out.

Ideally, you want your app to be a showcase for your unique brand. You want your User Interface (UI) & User Experience (UX) to comply with the Visual Brand Language (VBL) that defines your company. Free cookie-cutter templates won’t do your brand justice, as the colors, shapes, and typography won’t match with your VBL. Thus, you’ll ultimately cheapen your brand and cause users to either question your design choices or disengage altogether.

But if you choose the custom development option, then you can make your app shine. Your application will fit your company’s existing product range, which reassures existing customers and makes it appealing to new users. Moreover, the development team won’t need to modify and shoehorn the boilerplate code and free templates. That gets messy, quickly! Instead, they’ll build the app from scratch and enjoy the benefits of a cleaner and more maintainable project.

2. Extend Specific Business Functions

Another benefit of developing a custom mobile app is that it’s easy to add or extend functionality. In particular, you’ll want to extend specific business functions that facilitate more efficient customer interactions.

At first, you may decide to release a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) to test the waters. Then, once your app gains traction, you’ll want to add functionality that will bring users closer. These could include in-app purchases that allow users to buy products and services, a point system to build customer loyalty, and social media integration to allow users to share your company’s content in a fun way.

3. Give Users Something New

We can’t stress enough how important it’s to keep users engaged. Even after a successful launch, your app can quickly lose traction if users become bored. After all, they have tons of other cool and innovative apps to choose from in the App Store and Google Play.

Make sure to keep your app fresh with regular updates and by adding new features that excite users. Always listen to feedback since users often request features that will enhance their experience. However, only add new functionality that fits your custom mobile app and business goals. For example, some users may request the addition of Augmented Reality (AR) functionality. But this won’t work well with your e-commerce app and unnecessarily drive up development costs.

4. Increased Compatibility

Mobile devices and systems continuously evolve, which means that appreneurs should keep up with the latest developments. If we take a quick look at the global mobile operating system market, Android’s leading with a 72.48% market share while iOS comes second at 26.91%. This bit of information may entice you to support the Android platform for your upcoming custom mobile app.

But which Android OS should you support since there are so many versions?

According to AppBrain, Android 10 leads with a 34.2% market share, Android 9.0 (Pie) at 23.1%, and Android 8.0-8.1 (Oreo) at 17.1%. By supporting these versions, you’ll inevitably increase compatibility with the most current devices and systems. It’s also worthwhile updating your older apps to run well on recent generations of operating systems.

5. Improved Security Features

In recent years, a plethora of high profile hacking cases has made the news. And with the COVID pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, more people are working from home than ever before, which has only increased the rate of hacking attacks. Thus, businesses and individuals have become increasingly sensitive to these types of incursions.

There’s nothing worse for your reputation if hackers use your app as an attack vector to illegally access users’ mobile phones. That’s why the custom app development process should always encompass the most effective security features. Include two-factor authentication that users can enable, giving them extra protection and peace of mind.

6. The Latest Custom Mobile App Features

Take the time to simplify your UI & UX to make your app more accessible to a wider demographic. Furthermore, include customization features whereby users can easily change background images, colors, and fonts. Don’t forget to add a night mode to protect users that suffer from light sensitivity. And include an offline mode so they will continue using your app during Internet outages.

7. Make Changes When You Want

Your app won’t remain static. It’s a dynamic product that will undergo change during the development process and after its launch. However, templates and platforms often hinder these changes since they come with existing assets and code. Therefore, development teams have to waste valuable time modifying code and templates to suit their needs.

But this isn’t a problem with a custom solution that’s more cohesive. Developers know how every piece of their application operates and to implement changes without introducing new bugs or breaking it altogether.

8. Match Your App And Business Goals

Always consider your business goals when embarking on the development process. And ask yourself what you want to achieve with your upcoming app. Very likely, there’ll be an overlap between the direction of your app and your business goals. But you’ll only be able to achieve great results with a custom solution since it’s hard to find templates that will match your business goals down to a tee. Keep your vision focussed, and build your app in a way that makes it entirely your own.

9. Professional App Developers

It’s easy finding freelancers on various job boards and freelancing platforms to develop your app. But is that a good idea? Well, if you’re working on a hobby project and just want to test the waters, hiring a competent freelancer could be feasible. But if you’re developing an app for your business and expect professional results, then you’ll need to work with an agency.

Freelancers will often play up their list of credentials to attain work. And while some freelancers do good work, they seldom stick around to offer support after the project ends. This leads to problems, especially when you need to fix bugs after you’ve launched your app. You’ll find that the freelancer has moved on to the next project and isn’t available for fixing bugs.

Agencies, on the other hand, are far more accountable to their clients. They have a reputation to uphold and must comply with various laws and regulatory bodies to stay in business. Any reputable agency won’t leave clients high and dry if they experience issues with a finished app upon or after release. They’ll offer their advice, expertise, and support during and after development. And if you’re seeking mobile app development in Virginia, then don’t hesitate to contact NS804 to assist you with your custom app development endeavors.

The Waterfall UX Process: Everything You Need To Know

When developing mobile apps, we need to consider various project management approaches, such as the Waterfall UX process. After all, we retain users by utilizing methodologies and strategies for UI/UX that work. And we want to reduce the associated risks of creating apps via a well-thought-out Waterfall software development process.

But you may be wondering if this is the right methodology for your upcoming project or considering alternatives such as Agile. Well, we’ll shed some light on these matters and compare both methodologies below.

1. What Is The Waterfall Methodology

 

The Waterfall methodology is a project management paradigm initially used in construction and manufacturing but later adopted by software developers. All project tasks are split into phases that follow a linear sequence that flows downwards, similarly to a waterfall, hence the naming convention. It’s a fairly straightforward process but far more rigid than alternative models such as agile.

2. Does The Waterfall UX Process Work

 

Users expect modern apps to have intuitive and responsive UX. And a few ways to keep these users satisfied is by simplifying the user journey, organizing content, personalizing apps, adding biometric authentication features, and minimizing data input. But how does a development team hash out their UX process to create engaging apps? The good news is that the Waterfall methodology works incredibly well for UX, which many developers utilize.

A well-trodden Waterfall UX process works as follows:

  • Initiate research and determine all core problems
  • Categorize all these problems
  • Generate journey maps and personas
  • Hold brainstorming sessions to come up with new ideas
  • Create a prototype and test it
  • Begin developing the product based on the prototype
  • Release the product
  • Gather user feedback and return to the first phase

Overall, this process brings about satisfactory results as long as the UX isn’t updated regularly. However, many design-led mobile app developers prefer to update their UX in shorter cadences. In such a scenario, a Waterfall process isn’t the most suitable methodology. Thus, a growing number of developers utilize Lean and Agile methodologies instead.

3. The Main Parts Of The Waterfall Software Development Process

 

A typical Waterfall software development process consists of either five or seven phases following a stringent linear sequence. The naming of phases may vary, but these are the commonly used descriptors:

Requirements – Project managers gather all necessary customer requirements during this initial phase. Then, without further customer input, the remaining phases in the waterfall sequence are planned out.

Design – Design consists of a logical design and a physical design phase. Logical design involves the brainstorming and theorization of solutions, while physical design necessitates the establishment of specifications based on these theories.

Implementation – The development team’s programmers start writing code based on the requirements and specifications from the above phases.

Verification – During the verification phase, the customer receives the finished product to review. The customer will then ascertain whether or not the product meets their requirements.

Maintenance – The customer regularly uses the product and gradually discovers bugs and other faults. Then, the maintenance team makes the necessary fixes based on customer feedback.

4. Pros And Cons Of Waterfall

 

The Waterfall software development process has several pros and cons that you should consider before commencing any upcoming projects. Unfortunately, the Waterfall model has gained an undeserved reputation among many developers nowadays. They often claim that it’s inefficient and outdated due to its rigid structure. However, it’s still widely used in enterprise, game, and mobile app development.

Waterfall’s clear structure makes it easy for developers to understand and complete tasks. And since tasks must be completed in sequence, this diminishes the possibility of unfinished and unpolished apps. Furthermore, if the developer can commit to a set release date, then it’s easy to predict the end goal and production costs.

On the flipside, Waterfall’s rigid structure makes it difficult to implement changes. Any sudden change or revision will likely derail the project and extend the time to market (TTM). Another negative is that the customer or end-user doesn’t have a say during the development process and provides valuable feedback that benefits the project. Finally, testing takes place near the end of the process, which may lead to costly and time-consuming revisions.

5. Waterfall Methodology Vs Agile

 

Whether in the canteen or around the water cooler, it’s common for developers to engage in Waterfall methodology vs Agile debates. Since neither methodology is better than the other, it’s difficult to settle on a clear winner. However, they both have several notable differences that are worth discussing.

We’ve already gone over Waterfall’s rigid structure, which makes it difficult to implement changes. Well, Agile is the complete opposite and allows for a more iterative approach at shorter time scales. However, do keep changes to a minimum to avoid a budget overrun. After all, Agile lacks the predictability of Waterfall, making it less suitable for determining cost and time factors.

While Waterfall’s ideal for projects with clearly defined end goals, this isn’t the case for Agile. Customers are often uncertain about how a project should turn out and prefer to determine the result through trial and error. Agile’s flexible approach facilitates user feedback throughout the development process and fine-tuning the project accordingly.

6. What Projects Work Best With Waterfall

 

Waterfall works best for smaller projects and those that have a fixed budget, release date, and scope. It’s also a good choice for any application that doesn’t require frequent updates. And the team structure of the developer may determine if Waterfall is the way to go. For example, if contractors and remote workers will also be contributing to the project, then Waterfall’s clean and straightforward structure makes it suitable. Moreover, the customer may not have the time or inclination to follow the entire development process and only wishes to see the finished product.

7. Should You Use Waterfall And Agile Together?

 

It usually makes sense to deliberate over Waterfall Methodology Vs Agile, especially when embarking on mobile app development. But sometimes, depending on the project, it may be necessary to embrace both methodologies. Ideally, you’ll want to form a hybrid methodology that combines the positive aspects of both models but without any of the negative.

By implementing the Water-Scrum-Fall paradigm, it’s possible to have a hybrid methodology that works effectively. Project leaders operate within the Waterfall paradigm, but the development team functions in an Agile environment and only integrates with the Waterfall structure via the Scrum team. However, it’s challenging to run Agile and Waterfall processes concurrently. But worthwhile if you’re employing Continuous Delivery in your DevOps pipeline for your app development endeavors.

The Bottom Line

 

The Waterfall methodology has played a significant role in software development for many decades. It may seem outdated, especially for newer developers accustomed to an Agile environment. However, Waterfall still has its place and can be made to work with Agile if necessary. Contact us now, and find out how NS804 can help bring your mobile app ideas to life.

Can You Get Professional Results With App Design Templates?

Making apps is a costly endeavor, causing developers to seek ways to make their production processes more efficient. And given the increased competition, it seems challenging to stick to the planned mobile app budget. After all, users desire more features and slicker design, whereas innovative competitors push the envelope even further. While it’s tempting to cut corners to stay on budget, this move would be detrimental to the success of your app.

Keep in mind that there’s no need to reskin existing apps or source low-quality assets to bring costs down. Users have become seasoned in spotting asset flips, reskinned apps, and generic GUI icons sourced from the web. Fortunately, there are ways to make impressive-looking apps without resorting to these questionable methods. A custom app developed by an experienced developer, such as NS804, will provide the best results.

An alternative way to make your app look professional is by utilizing app design templates, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.

1. Why You May Want To Use App Design Templates

Every developer wants to reduce their time to market (TTM) significantly. That’s why many teams use existing frameworks instead of building everything from scratch. Furthermore, most experienced developers are capable of crafting unique apps instead of cookie-cutter apps using these frameworks. Since they no longer have to worry about boilerplate code, they can now focus on creating compelling apps that excite users.

However, you can go beyond frameworks to reduce cost and time to develop your upcoming app. After bouncing some app design ideas with the relevant team members, it’s time to consider using customizable or pre-made templates for your project.

We recommend that you stay away from cheap templates, as they’ll make your app look dated, low-effort, or unpolished. Many talented designers work on custom templates and ensure that they meet the criteria set out by platform holders such as Apple and Google. Do keep in mind that a North American designer may set you back between $ 45-250 per hour depending on experience and project complexity.

Your project’s requirements will largely determine whether you’ll opt for a custom solution or templates. But if you don’t want to skimp on quality, then nothing holds up to a custom-designed app.

2. Are Custom-Made Apps Really That Different?

Well, that depends if these custom-made apps have enough unique elements to make them stand out. And since the attention span of users is less than 8 seconds, developers should get their ideas across quickly. Furthermore, most successful apps always strive to provide users the instant gratification that they crave. But to make these types of apps, it’s vital to understand the entire process.

It all begins with a rock-solid idea that has been conceived after planning your app on paper. Team members should be encouraged to share their app design ideas, which should include ‘must-have’ and ‘nice-to-have’ features. Then, you should create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that’s a stripped-down version of the final product. Moreover, you can create a prototype that lacks all the bells and whistles but showcases basic functionality.

Once you have a functioning app up and running, you’ll want to focus on its visual elements. The work you put into your User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) will go a long way in differentiating your app. If you’re fortunate enough to have talented designers on your team, then they can create stunning icons, menus, and screens. Also, they can alter existing templates and recompose them so that they seem custom-made.

If you don’t have designers on hand or aren’t confident in making a compelling app, then we recommend hiring an experienced developer. NS804 can help to make all your ideas come to life while also assisting in other key areas. Don’t forget to do market research before launching. By knowing what users want, you can add those unique features that differentiate your app from the competition.

Lastly, you should always study user feedback and make changes, whenever necessary, to keep them engaged. Several good ways to gain user insight is through interviews and surveys. Then, update your app regularly and ensure that you’re delivering the changes and features that they want.

3. The Right Template Is Already Professional

App builders have become commonplace in recent years. They make it easy to build apps for small businesses and other organizations using drag-and-drop wizards and templates. However, they’re not always the ideal solution, especially in light of Apple’s 2017 ban on low-quality templates. Ensure that all your cool app design ideas don’t go to waste by meeting the requirements set forth by the platform holders.

Apart from not being spammy, your app’s built-in features and UX design should serve specific businesses or needs. If you’ve sourced high-quality templates that scale perfectly to different screen sizes, then you’re on the right track. But it’s also necessary to consider the use cases of various templates as well. For example, it’s never a good idea to use a template meant for restaurant apps when you’re making a fitness studio app.

Users and platform holders prefer a clean and uncluttered look for the current generation of apps. Not only does this enhance usability, but it’s also more aesthetically pleasing. The good news is that it’s reasonably easy to find pre-made templates that comply with this minimalist design language. Moreover, it’s possible for any experienced designer to alter these templates to better fit your app and UX design.

4. Use Templates To Get App Design Ideas

Coming up with the latest great idea for your upcoming app may seem difficult. Fortunately, there are several handy tools to help you draw up and visualize your app in record time. Microsoft’s Web and Mobile Wireframe Templates make it possible to design your next app with a few mouse clicks. These templates are generic so that it’s easy to implement changes without much guesswork.

A few of the starter templates include Company Wireframe Diagram, E-Commerce Wireframe Diagram, List Wireframe Diagram, Media Wireframe Diagram, User Profile Wireframe Diagram, Wireframe – Mobile App, and Wireframe – Website. These will help you get started quickly, as they cover the most common use cases for mobile and web apps.

One of the tool’s most useful features is its ability to display templates on different web browsers and devices. Without a doubt, this allows you and your team to conceive app ideas while having a clear picture of what they’ll look like on the target platform. Even if you can’t come up with ideas at first, manipulating these templates will help you get your creative juices flowing.

Final Thoughts

App design templates can help reduce the cost and time it takes to produce apps. But these must be professionally made templates that will look good on various devices and display sizes. Furthermore, they must comply with the requirements set out by platform holders to avoid bans. With our many years of experience in app development, NS804 can help you achieve professional results for your next mobile app.

How To Improve User Retention By Studying The Competition

It’s tough out there. The app marketplace isn’t what it used to be due to incredibly high competition. Considering that there are over 2.8 million apps on Google’s Play Store and around 2.2 million apps on Apple’s App Store, app developers and publishers have their work cut out for them. And the same old strategies that worked in the past seldom work in today’s digital marketplaces.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom if you adopt the right strategies for pushing forward the next generation of engaging apps. Firstly, you’ll need to accept that an app building competition isn’t a bad thing, as this creates new opportunities. Secondly, implement a solid ‘update app‘ strategy that causes the user to follow through. Thirdly, think about how to improve user retention since this will help in increasing your ROI.

Finally, never fear competition, as there are several effective ways to develop successful apps in the current climate. Below, we provide a few handy tips about studying the competition and using that to your advantage.

1. Better Understand Your Audience’s Needs

It’s no secret that you can’t tailor a user-centric experience if you don’t know your target audience. Thus, take the time to learn as much as possible about your current and future users. Find out their age, gender, language, location, occupation, devices, interests, and marital status.

Of course, you can delve deeper by finding out more about their behavior, habits, personality, and values. All this data will help you compile accurate user personas, which will give you a clear understanding of your audience’s needs.

2. Improve Upon Features Users Don’t Like

Even your most well-made app won’t please all your users. You may have released a messaging app that runs smoothly and boasts a ton of handy features. However, some of your users may find the available emojis unappealing and start looking for alternative messaging apps. Check out what your competitors are doing, and implement the necessary improvements when your users click the update app button.

3. Improve Overall UI/UX Design

Your production values make a massive difference in how users perceive your app. The quality of all your assets and overall UI/UX design will make or break the final product. All your visual elements, which may include menu icons, fonts, and the update app button, to name a few, are vital to your app’s success.

Furthermore, you should implement these five key elements for your UX design: information architecture, interaction design, usability, prototyping, and visual design.

4. Release More Purposeful Updates

Always delve deeper into how to improve user retention. It’s common for many developers to focus primarily on bug fixes for their update cycles. While this is good for app stability, many users may grow tired of using apps that don’t offer significant feature upgrades. With these regular updates, you ensure that your app remains modern and secure and that you care for your users.

5. Study User Feedback For New Ideas

Any app building competition can be a game-changer. Your users aren’t just using your apps, but also those released by competitors. That’s why it’s important to gather user feedback and study it carefully. Find out what they’re saying about your apps and those made by the competition. After gaining this valuable insight, discuss it with your team, and plan your upcoming updates accordingly.

In Conclusion

Learning how to improve user retention by studying the competition is a step in the right direction. You’ll need to follow a few important steps, such as understanding your audience’s needs, improving features users don’t like, improving UI/UX design, release purposeful updates, and study user feedback.

The result is an app building competition while engaging users. With years of experience in app development, NS804 can help you achieve your business goals with professionally made apps.

The Ultimate Guide To Improving Mobile App UX

Elevating Mobile App UX

No matter the industry, the consumer or end-user generally has the ultimate power. Businesses and organizations, mobile app developers included, undoubtedly want to serve and gain as many customers or end-users as possible. Keeping this goal in mind highlights the importance of delivering an optimized user experience. To further this point, users will abandon mobile apps that deliver a poor mobile app UX within the first 10 minutes of use.

Mobile app design is, in and of itself, a beast of a task. Designing the user experience is no walk-in-the-park though. There are many aspects that a UX design team must consider when approaching the UX design. However, there is such a wide variety of elements to consider, it’s daunting to go into mobile app UX design without any guidance.

Therefore, successful UX designs stem from an understanding of the various aspects that need to be considered. The following guide outlines four pillars of UX design.

The Design Process

To begin the mobile app UX design process, there needs to be some semblance of an action plan to follow. Building a workflow for mobile app design helps streamline and standardize this process. The first step in realizing an idea for a mobile app is through the development of an MVP or minimum viable product.

The MVP serves multiple functions. One of the main purposes of an MVP is to provide a sample of what the mobile app will be to various focus groups. These focus groups then take a trial of the mobile app. From this trial, garner feedback that informs the rest of the mobile app design.

Through the testing process, mobile app designers gain valuable insights into the features that have been included in the MVP that users experience and trial. These insights will likely apply to a variety of elements such as the beginnings of the visual design, the actual features that are included, and the way the app addresses the problem that it is supposed to solve.

This a very important note to make. Any mobile app, no matter how big or small in scale, should aim to solve a problem. The way that the mobile app solves the problem needs to be evident in the MVP. Otherwise, focus groups, early adopters, and other test groups won’t be able to provide feedback on the actual core-functionality of the mobile app.

Elements of UX

Developing a strong MVP that yields positive feedback from test groups begins with the very first design stages. That includes understanding the actual framework of a successful and functional mobile app. Understanding the skeleton of a mobile app allows mobile app developers to ensure a design is comprehensive.

Two of these five core elements of mobile app UX design are: information architechture, and interaction design. These two aspects together organize the information of the mobile app in such a way that makes it accesible to the end user, and defines the various user-interactions within the mobile app.

These two functions are vital to building a high quality user experience. Information architechture is the way that information is both organized, and accessed within the mobile app. In other words, where do users need to navigate in order to perform certain activites within the mobile application.

Defining the information architechture will be important in building an easy to use and intutive mobile app. The interaction design, on the other hand, applies to the elements of the design with which users actually interact.

These aspects range from the text displayed, to the various symbols and any visual representations used (including brand logos), and other user-specific elements like device-preference. All-in-all the interaction design is a vital aspect of the mobile app UX.

Features to Include for a Strong Mobile App UX

In building a mobile app then, it’s important to identify where to start. This often happens on the back-end of things. The actual coding brings to life features in the mobile app.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here. Using history as a teacher, there is a library of features to include in the mobile-app design that are proven to benefit the user experience. Pulling from this pre-existing library will start your mobile app design off on the right foot. Ensuring the inclusion of important features.

Some of these features will streamline a process, while others just emphasize simplicity and ease-of-use. Therefore, these features include: platform-specific-design, a simple and swift onboarding process that users can get through without much difficulty, short forms, avenues for feedback, a live chat feature, and helpful navigation systems.

Platform Specific Design

Contrary to what might seem most intuitive, mobile app designers should build the initial design with a native-platform in mind. However, it becomes crucial to then create a responsive-design.

In other words, a responsive design will naturally convert itself to be optimal for any device and any screen size. designing apps with a responsive design is the industry standard, and significantly broadens the marketability of your mobile app. Responsive design also ensures that user experience is consistent between and across different devices.

Swift Onboarding

Users want to get to the crux of the matter. Dancing around introductory screens and a convoluted on-boarding process is almost guaranteed to send users running for the hill. While it is important to bring new users into the community that your mobile app has developed, it is also important to prioritize the time that users spend on your app.

Bogging down the user experience with a hefty or unnecessarily long onboarding process shows users a disregard for their precious time, and will send them to a competitor. Plus, the faster you get the user to their goal, the more likely they are to come back time and time again.

Short Forms

Gathering information from your mobile app users is just as important as delivering the actual functionality of the mobile app. In order to weave information forms into the mobile app that are both natural, and user-friendly; forms should be designed to be concise, and yield valuable insights into user demographics.

Understanding the most popular demographic that uses a mobile app will further inform marketing strategies, and other important aspects regarding the distribution of the mobile app.

Navigation

The navigation bar is a point of much debate in mobile app design. The two main types of navigation menus are: hamburger, or kabob. Both are viable and come with their own strong points.

Regardless of the style, mobile apps only need one main navigation menu. That way users know where to look.

Current Mobile App UX Design Trends

In addition to everything else that’s been covered, designers also need to consider current trends in mobile app design when developing a mobile app. The trends of mobile app design are forever in flux. Some of the popular design trends today, could very well fizzle out within the next few years.

However, keeping up to date with the latest in mobile app design trends will not only inform the initial design, but can also inform and direct future iterations of the mobile app. That ensures that future versions of the app include updates to keep the app relevant and aesthetically pleasing for each and every user on the app.

Start Developing UX with NS804

NS804 is the premier mobile app developer of the everyday person. Making mobile app development services more accessible than ever before. NS804 will help bring your mobile app idea into reality. Or, if you’re a do-it-yourself type of person, make sure to check back at NS804 for more valuable information regarding how developers can optimize the user experience.

How User Experience Affects Your Mobile App

The Effects of User Experience

Mobile apps don’t exist for the sake of the designer. Rather, mobile apps exist to serve a function. That function, however, can be virtually anything. Although, many of the successful mobile apps that exist aim to solve a specific problem for the end-user. The important note to take there is that mobile apps exist for the end-user. Therefore, optimizing the user experience is a priority.

The term user experience can refer to quite a variety of elements and aspects that a user encounters within a mobile app, or any application. These elements include visual design, interactive components, information architecture, and more. Because the UX is such a vast category when it comes to the design of a mobile app, its impact is also critical.

There are many reasons to prioritize user experience in mobile app development. From improving user-retention rates to a stronger user-acquisition strategy, the benefits of a positive UX speak for themselves.

User Retention

As is mentioned above, one of the key benefits of building and developing a high-quality user-experience within your mobile app is higher rates of user-retention. This is another pillar argument for prioritizing user-experience in mobile app development, as gaining end-users is the ultimate goal. After all, mobile apps don’t exist for the sake of the designers.

The mobile app market is super-saturated. That means that users have endless options to solve the same problem. Therefore, new users who have a bad experience with your mobile app, are very likely to jump ship and download a competitor’s app.

User Acquisition

In the same vein as user retention, is user acquisition. User acquisition actually comes before user retention in the mobile app lifecycle, as it’s the process through which new users first learn about, and join your mobile app. Since the visual design is one of the very first aspects of a mobile app that new users interact with; it makes sense that visual design elements are a significant contributor to user experience.

Build intuitive and user-friendly mobile apps that are aesthetically pleasing in order to reinforce your user-acquisition strategy.

Increased Efficiency

Beyond attracting new users or retaining existing users, strong user experience offers other benefits as well. Since a large component of UX is related to information architecture and usability, this furthers the argument for prioritizing well-designed user experience.

Building a strong information architecture means designing the mobile app in such a way that users get to their end-goal faster. This improves the efficiency that mobile app users experience.

Developing efficiency into a mobile app shows users that you respect them and their busy schedules.

A Final Thought

User experience has a wide variety of effects on mobile app success. From improving user retention rates, and developing a more powerful user-acquisition strategy, user experience is truly the backbone of any mobile app.

NS804 is the mobile app developer of the everyday person. Dedicated to making mobile app development services more accessible than ever before, and sharing the years of knowledge and expertise we’ve gathered. Visit NS804 today and start realizing your mobile app dreams.